Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

August 5, 2014

A Focus on Flying Things

Today (day 47 of summer) was a stay-at-home day after our visit to Boston yesterday. I started my morning as I normally do, with a cup of coffee and visiting you out there in the blogosphere. While I did so, I heard some raucous bird-calling out in the back yard. I took my camera with me to try to investigate what might be going on. I followed the sound to the trees in the back near my shed and peered up. The sound seemed to be coming from birds like this one:
flicker or woodpecker
That bird was close to the top of the tree so that is a tightly cropped shot – not as clear as I would have liked, but enough to identify as one of two kind of similar birds. I think this is either a northern flicker or a red bellied woodpecker. This scruffy looking thing seemed to be following closely, so I am going to assume it to be a fledgling of whatever type of bird this is.

My day continued in a low key manner. I vacuumed the pool (not very satisfactorily by the way! Any pool owners have some good tips for vacuuming up the super fine silt-like material that gathers at the bottom of the pool and “poofs” up into the water when you approach it with the vacuum?), had lunch, finished reading one of the oddest, but interesting, books I’ve ever read (The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope, if you are interested) and enjoyed some time floating around the pool on my air mattress.

Other critters with wings that I enjoy photographing teased me and my lens this afternoon after I got out of the pool. Hummingbirds buzzed and chased at my feeder but never stayed long enough for me to focus a shot. The hummingbird moths and dragonflies, however, were a little more cooperative.

This hummingbird moth still gave me a bit of a time focusing – each time I had it in frame ready to go, it seemed to think another blossom on the butterfly bush looked better, but eventually I got this shot.
hummingbird moth

I found this friendly dragonfly face on a tomato cage in my garden.
dragonfly face
I was really impressed with what I was able to do with Lightroom to improve this shot. I was able to bring out detail that I never saw in my original photo. Normally I don’t like to show you the “less pretty” photos, but I think the difference is really something here.

February 20, 2012


Filed under: For the Birds — Karma @ 3:29 pm
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This morning I continued my bird count for the GBBC while drinking coffee and reading blogs.  I have a nice view of my bird feeders from where I sit while I’m at the computer.  I was reading this post by Holly and admiring her sparkly snow and a picture of a red-bellied woodpecker – frequent visitor to my feeders last winter.  I mentioned in a comment to her that I’d actually seen those woodpeckers using the same pose she had captured on my feeders, but hadn’t had my camera handy at the time.  Less than 10 minutes after I left that comment, guess what?  Yup, a couple of red-bellied woodpeckers showed up in my front yard!

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Funny thing is, I didn’t even realize at first that I had taken pictures of both of the birds.  Only when I was editing the size of the shots to put them in the slideshow did I notice that two of the shots featured a bird with a fully bright red forehead, while the others show a bird with the appearance of a “bald patch” (not really bald, of course, just gray feathers where the other has red)

I was happy to have the opportunity to catch the pictures, and add the red-bellies to my count for the GBBC.

For anyone who may be interested, here’s a list of the species I counted:

  • northern cardinal
  • blue jay
  • dark-eyed junco
  • mourning dove
  • rock pigeon
  • tufted titmouse
  • red tail hawk
  • song sparrow
  • house sparrow
  • American robin
  • European starling
  • Cooper’s hawk
  • red-bellied woodpecker